Daily Update – July 11, 2023

Good morning, Farmer Family …

Main Markets

United States of America
US farm markets were mixed but mostly higher on Monday. Corn prices rose 1.03%. Soybeans closed up 1.94%. The rest of the soy complex was also firmer, as soymeal gained 0.74%, while soyoil prices jumped 4.41% higher. Wheat prices, in contrast, were mostly lower, as Chicago SRW dropped 0.50%, Kansas City HRW fell 0.86%, while Minneapolis HRS added 0.29%. Traders remained focused on the latest weather forecasts. Most of the U.S. statistically sees the hottest day of the year land somewhere between July 15 and July 31, and current mid-range forecasts are predicting hotter-than-normal temperatures for the Midwest and Plains later this month. Consequently, both corn and soybean prices made solid inroads. However, gains were limited due to expectations of further rains in the U.S. Midwest. Conversely, wheat failed to follow suit, with Chicago sliding for a third consecutive session to a one-week low due to ample supplies from newly harvested Russian crop, although MGEX spring wheat prices did manage moderate gains. Going inside the fundamentals, USDA’s weekly Export Inspections data showed 341,024 MT of corn was shipped during the week that ended 7/6. That was down from 676k MT last week and from 935k MT during the same week last year. The full season’s export total reached 33.502 MMT through 7/6, trailing last year’s pace by 15.7 MMT. As for soybean, data showed 238,234 MT of soybeans were shipped during the week that ended 7/6. That was a 24k MT drop from last week’s volume and was below the 360k MT shipped during the same week last year. USDA marked the season total at 49.67 MMT as of 7/6, a 5% lag from last year’s pace. As for wheat, the report showed 419k MT of wheat was shipped during the week that ended 7/6. Compared to last week’s export, volumes were up 77k MT. The season’s wheat shipment reached 1.519 MMT, compared to 1.923 MMT at this point last year. Elsewhere, Brazilian farmers have harvested through last Thursday 27% of the area planted for their second corn crop, up 10 percentage points from the previous week. Export prices for Russian wheat remained largely flat last week, as traders waited for signals about the Black Sea grain export deal ahead of its renewal deadline next Monday. In this context, corn basis bids were mostly steady across the central U.S. to start the week but did trend 10 cents higher at an Iowa river terminal and 5 cents higher at an Illinois processor. Soybean basis bids were mostly steady to soft after dropping 5 to 15 cents lower across four Midwestern locations. An Iowa processor bucked the overall trend after climbing 30 cents higher. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, soyoil, corn and soymeal futures contracts and net sellers of wheat futures. After the sessions close, the weekly Crop Progress report from NASS showed 22% of the corn crop was silking as of 7/9. That was up from 8% last week and is 1 ppt ahead of the 5-yr average. The report also showed 3% of the crop reached the dough stage, up 1% point from the average. NASS showed corn conditions improved to 55% as good-to-excellent from 51% last week and above the average expectation for 53%. However, the rating is the worst for this time of year since 2012 when drought in the United States raised global crop prices. As for soybean, the report showed 39% of the national soy crop was blooming as of 7/9. That compares to 35% on average. NASS had 10% setting pods, up from 4% last week and 3% points ahead of the average. National conditions were 1% point better with Good/Ex now at 51%, but below analysts’ expectations of 52%. As for wheat, only 47% of the spring wheat crop was rated as good-to-excellent, down from 48% a week ago, defying analysts’ expectations for an improvement to 49%. NASS also reported spring wheat was 72% headed as of 7/9, up from 51% last week and 5% points ahead of the average pace. Finally, the report showed winter wheat harvest advanced 9% points to 46% complete nationally, and 40pc of the crop was rated good to excellent, unchanged from last week. The 5-yr average harvest pace would be 59% harvested by 7/9, however. Kansas was shown 59% harvested compared to 84% on average. HRW wheat areas reported ongoing wet weather across Kansas and Oklahoma which continued to delay harvest progress and raised more concerns over quality and abandonment. As a result on this morning, Chicago soybean prices rose for a second session as rain gave only a modest boost to Midwest crops, adding to expectations that the U.S. government will reduce its harvest forecast. Wheat climbed as a drone strike on Ukraine’s Odesa port put attention back on war risks to Black Sea supply, while the surprise drop in a U.S. spring wheat crop rating underscored mixed harvest prospects in the northern hemisphere. Corn tracked strength in wheat and soybeans, but was capped by a sharp improvement in U.S. crop conditions and harvest progress in Brazil. Notably, the most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 1.3% at $13.62-1/2 a bushel by 11:28 GMT while corn rose 1.2% to $5.05-1/4 a bushel. CBOT wheat added 1.8% to $6.58 a bushel. Traders, meantime, were looking ahead to USDA’s WASDE report, out Wednesday, and everyone is eager to see the corn yields with the market expecting a 176/77bu/ac type yield, down from 181.5bu/ac.
The Winnipeg market reversed losses of the previous session, and canola posted strong gains to be back trading at 4-month highs, as weather raised its head again across Saskatchewan and Alberta.
South America
Brazilian farmers have harvested through last Thursday 27% of the area planted for their second corn crop, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday. That was up 10 percentage points from the previous week but still lagging 2022 levels. At the same time last year, 41% of the corn fields in Brazil’s center-south region had been reaped, the consultancy said in a statement. AgRural last week increased its forecast for Brazil’s second corn crop by 5 million metric tons to 102.9 million metric tons citing favorable weather.
In Europe grain prices eased, pressured by export competition from Black Sea regions and the start of harvesting in Europe, while oilseeds rallied broadly, with Nov rapeseed settling 2.5% up, on doubts over North American crop conditions, signs of tightening palm oil supply in Malaysia and harvest concerns in Europe. September milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext, indeed, settled down 1.2% at 229.25 euros ($251.90) a metric ton. Underpinning the market, however, the uncertainty over the future of Black Sea shipping corridor, and mixed crop conditions in the northern hemisphere. Without new elements on the geopolitical or climatic front, grain prices will settling in a context of strong dominance of Russian wheat. Meantime, according to the French farm ministry, this year’s soft wheat crop in France is expected to rise by nearly 4% from last year’s, helped by June showers ahead of harvesting, . In its first projection for 2023 soft wheat production, the ministry forecast the crop at 35 million metric tons compared with 33.69 million last year. The estimate was based on an expected yield of 7.34 tons per hectare (t/ha), against 7.17 t/ha last year, and an estimated harvested area of 4.77 million hectares, compared with 4.70 million in 2022. Total barley production was pegged by the ministry at 11.94 million tons, up 4.6% from last year. Winter barley production was forecast at 9.18 million tons, up 8.3% from last year and above an initial forecast of 9.07 million. Production of spring barley was forecast to fall 6.2% to 2.76 million tons, with a reduced area expected to outweigh a projected increase in yield. For rapeseed, France’s main oilseed crop, 2023 production was forecast to rise 2.5% from last year to 4.64 million tons, with an increased area offsetting an expected fall in yields from last year’s bumper levels, the ministry said.
Middle East
The Saudi Ag Development Fund has signed $247 million worth of contracts to import corn, soybeans, and barley.
Export prices for Russian wheat remained largely flat last week. According to the IKAR , the price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in early August was $231 a tonne at the end of last week, slightly down from $232 a tonne the week before. Russia plans to export up to 55 million metric tonnes of grain in the agricultural year that began this month, after exporting around 60 million tonnes last year, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Friday. Sovecon last Thursday raised its forecast for Russian grain exports in the 2023/24 season to 58.9 million tonnes from 57.2 million tonnes, and raised its wheat export forecast to 47.2 million tonnes from 45.7 million tonnes. From the Middle Kingdom, China’s customs agency has issued a regulation for inspecting imported soybeans, it said on Monday. The regulation requires the importer to stage the soybean at specific warehouses before it gets quarantine permission to enter the domestic market. In May, three soybean traders had said that China was increasing the rate of inspections on imported soybean cargoes and it further delayed the clearing times. On the other hand, China’s producer price index (PPI) fell for a 9th consecutive month, dropping 5.4pc annually in June which was the steepest decline since December 2015. However, the consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged year on year, and food prices rose for the first time in 3 months on the back of increases in fresh vegetables and eggs, despite significant falls in pork price.
South East Asia
Malaysia’s palm oil inventories rose at the end of June but at a slower than expected pace, as production declined and exports jumped, data by the nation’s palm oil board showed on Monday. Notably, Malaysian stockpiles gained 1.9% from the month before to 1.72 million metric tons, hitting a four-month high, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) data showed. However, that was much smaller than expectations of a 10.5% jump. Crude palm oil output in June fell 4.6% to 1.45 million tons, MPOB data showed, surprising industry participants who had widely expected production to rise. Exports rose 8.6% to 1.17 million tons, surpassing cargo surveyors estimates. Intertek Testing Services had estimated June export shipments to decline 6.9%, while Amspec Agri had said shipments rose 0.6%. Demand recovery was underpinned by the widening palm oil discount against rival soft oils, the weak ringgit and dwindling destination stocks, analysts said. Thus, Malaysian palm oil pricres rose on Monday. Notably, the benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 89 ringgit, or 2.32%, to 3,923 ringgit ($840.58) a tonne.
In Australia barley values were slightly firmer by end of the day in WA and close to unchanged in the east. ASX barley January was unchanged on what was relatively benign in terms of activity. Urea shortages still are an issue for those that have not secured it and threaten to cap yield.


Milling wheat
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 123,770 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close on Thursday.


Energy markets
Energy markets saw oil prices easing 1%. Brent crude futures indeed settled down 78 cents, or 1%, at $77.69 a barrel after touching their highest level in more than two months earlier in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 87 cents, or 1.2%, at $72.99. San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly on Monday repeated that she believes two more rate hikes this year will likely be needed to bring down inflation that is still too high, while Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester also signaled more rate rises. Meanwhile, China’s factory gate prices fell at the fastest pace in more than seven years in June, according to government data, indicating a slowdown in the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy. The increasing likelihood of more U.S. interest rate hikes, weighe on the markets but crude supply cuts from top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia limited the losses. Oil demand from China and developing countries, indeed, combined with OPEC+ supply cuts, is likely to keep the market tight in the second half of the year despite a sluggish global economy, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. On this morning, oil prices edged higher, recouping some of the losses from the previous session. Brent crude futures indeed rose 31 cents, or 0.4%, to $78 a barrel by 06:26 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 35 cents, or 0.5%, at $73.34. Supporting prices the U.S. dollar fell to a two-month low. Data on Chinese new yuan loans and trade balance, and U.S. inflation, will be closely monitored by the markets in the coming days.
Ocean freight markets
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Monday, helped by rising rates for the larger vessel segments. The overall index, indeed, rose by 15 points or 1.5% to 1,024. Notably, the capesize index gained 33 points or 2.2% to 1,555. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, gained $269 to $12,894. The panamax index earned 12 points or 1.2% to 996 – its highest in a week. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $114 to $8,966. Among smaller vessels, the supramax index remained unchanged at 724.
Equity markets
US stock indexes were mixed, though settled moderately higher. The 10-year T-note yield fell -5.6 bp to 4.006%. Lower T-note yields supported modest gains in the broader market. Also, expectations that Wednesday’s U.S. Jun CPI report will show that price pressures continue to ease, underpinned stocks. However, gains in stocks were muted on hawkish Fed comments. Also, Monday’s U.S. economic news was weaker-than-expected and bearish for stocks. May wholesale trade sales unexpectedly fell -0.2% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.3% m/m. May consumer credit rose +$7.24 billion, weaker than expectations of +$20.00 billion and the smallest increase in 2-1/2 years. In this context, on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose to 4,409.53. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6% to 33,944.40. The Nasdaq composite added 0.2% to 13,685.48.. On this morning, Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced. Notably the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 3,208.38 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.3% to 32,279.8. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1% to 18,655.50. The Kospi in Seoul surged 1.4% to 2,555.09 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 jumped 1.1% to 7,078.50. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.
Currency trading
The dollar index fell by -0.30% and posted a 2-week low. Lower T-note yields Monday weighed on the dollar. Also, an increase in Japanese inflation expectations to an 8-1/2 year high pushed up the yen to a 2-1/2 week high against the dollar. In addition, weaker-than-expected U.S. economic news on May wholesale sales and May consumer credit was negative for the dollar. Notably, the EUR/USD rose +0.29% and posted a 2-week high. The USD/JPY fell -0.65%. On this morning, the dollar fell to 140.73 yen from Monday’s 141.32 yen. The euro rose to $1.1018 from $1.0999.

That’s all, thank you.
We wish you a nice day.

Author: Sandro F. Puglisi

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